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mozart
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Hef interview in V magazine
02/26/04 11:18 PM

I posted this on the PML today, and just thought I'd share here, too.

The current issue of V magazine (issue #27, Spring Preview 2004) has an interview with Hef. This is one LARGE magazine (11 1/2" x 16")! The interview is a pretty standard one covering creation of PLAYBOY, PLAYBOY as lifestyle, its phenomenal success, impact on American culture, role today, etc. Still, there's some good Q&A in it.

The photography standards in this magazine are amazingly good, and it's beautifully printed on heavy, glossy paper. My jaw dropped from looking at the gorgeous, lush ad on the back cover; all I can say is: WOW. Gorgeous redheaded model with lush '40s wavy hair, deep red lipstick and nail polish, and lots of primary colors red and blue. It's a very sharp, color saturated image. This picture alone is worth the $6.95 cover price. And it's only an ad!

The annoyance for me was this provocative statement given to Hef, which he then didn't answer because the interviewer changed direction at the end of it:

Q: Right now there are more lowbrow magazines like
Maxim, for example, that are making a huge impact
in the men's magazine market. And other men's
magazines are saying, well, if we can't beat
'em, join 'em. And it seems that this idea of
class, or more precisely, classiness, is at the
center of the PLAYBOY way of life. At the same
time, it's also important that you are there at
the center, living it.

A: Well, I think so, too. [Laughs] That's why I
am doing it. There really is a PLAYBOY Mansion.
And there really is a Hugh Hefner.

It was so disappointing not to hear Hef address the issue of the dumbing down of PLAYBOY, and in fact the interviewer seems completely unaware of it!

Interestingly, in his answer to the question directly preceding this one, Hef had said "I actually said to my editors back in the early '70s that I didn't want to start imitating the imitators"... This seems to be very much what PLAYBOY is doing today, so what's up with that? I really want to know. I wouldn't be surprised if he would say they aren't imitating; but I think if they believe that, they are deluding themselves. The evidence speaks for itself; as does the action of hiring an editor directly from Maxim.

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SRMToronto
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Re: Hef interview in V magazine [re: mozart]
02/27/04 08:10 AM

Maybe someone should remind Hef of what he said so long ago.

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Wil
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Re: Hef interview in V magazine [re: mozart]
02/28/04 08:13 PM

I think this is a bit of revisionism. In the "early 70s", Playboy initially ignored Penthouse (which was introduced to the USA from England - as the "lads' magazines" would be decades later - in late 1969). Penthouse was clearly a second-rate Playboy, so PEI figured the British import would not be much more successful than were all the other mens' magazines - Nugget, Rogue, Cavalier, Knight, Adam, etc., etc., of the 1950s and early 1960s. But Penthouse soon found its own identity - a strong emphasis on sex - and PEI was surprised at the upstart's success. Soon Playboy started imitating its own imitator, adopting a more explicit approach in both its photography and its editorial content, and going in for the "soft focus" look in photography that was Penthouse's visual signature. However, eventually in the mid-1970's, PEI realized they were engaged in a race they couldn't win, since Penthouse would always do a better job of being Penthouse than Playboy could. (I would put the date for that realization as November 1975.) Only then did Hugh Hefner decide Playboy shouldn't imitate its competition, i.e., after PEI had been doing precisely that, quite deliberately, for nearly four years or so. I wonder how long it will take them this time to realize that they aren't Maxim, they will never be Maxim, and they shouldn't try to be Maxim?

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KBOC
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Re: Hef interview in V magazine [re: Wil]
02/28/04 08:19 PM

Thanks for that history lesson, Wil!

That actually gives me hope

<---Picture: Kimberly Holland, Sweetest Girl ever to be!

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oldman
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Re: Hef interview in V magazine [re: Wil]
02/28/04 08:31 PM

Actually Wil, I think that realization came a little later. After Lillian Mueller's PMOY pictorial.
Hers was definitely Penthouse-esque both in the graininess of the images and the suggestive sexual content.
I saw an interview with her a few years back and she lamented the tone of her pictorial as to sexy and not really what Playboy had been doing.

She said if she could do it again, it would not have been so racy.

oldman


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oldman
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Re: Hef interview in V magazine [re: mozart]
02/28/04 08:38 PM

Yes, it is to bad that the interviewer did not do more research and challenge Hefner a little on the changes that have been made.

It would be great to see someone really get in his face and ask some tough questions. Not only to hear what he thinks but just to find out if he is actually aware of the complaints some readers have been voicing.

oldman



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AliciaR
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Re: Hef interview in V magazine [re: Wil]
02/28/04 08:40 PM

I really do agree Wil, my personal opinion is that while Playboy and Maxim are men's magazines, I don't think they are in the same catagory.

OK, maybe some don't agree, but to me, Maxim is just a teenage girlie mag, the kind mom doesn't mind finding in son's room is what I mean by that. I think it is a great mag, I love reading it and the women are great looking, but Playboy is just different, in a world all of it's own. It is the ultimate display of class of everything passionate, sexy, sophisticated, and romantic: not to inlcude riveting interviews, politcal views and opinions. It is also history and legacy. No other magazine (no matter how great it may be) can be Playboy.

I don't see a compairison to any other, just my two cents worth.


Alicia

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oldman
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Re: Hef interview in V magazine [re: AliciaR]
02/28/04 08:51 PM

Boy, I am being a mouth piece here.

I think everything you just described is everything PLAYBOY used to be.

It was, at one time, a sophisticated magazine. It use to feature works of fiction by some of the best writers of the time. It used to have compelling interviews that were truly remarkable. Alex Haley interviewing the head of the White Supremist movement, Jimmy Carter, etc.

Sadly, the only people who are interviewed now are actors looking to hype their latest movie. Playmates were, for way to long, look-a-likes. At least this last year that has improved.

The covers were groundbreaking at times featuring art work by cutting edge artists. Now it is one boring reality star after the next. Bumping the PMOY from the cover was horribly insulting to Miss Santiago(whether you like her or not). It was a totally class-less act from a magazine that purports to be about class.

That is what readers have been unhappy about and it would be nice to see someone challenge Hefner on these issues instead of asking him how many blonde girlfriends he currently has. I would love to see his reaction to someone asking him, "what do you say to readers who complain that this once great, socially relevant magazine has degenerated into People with a centerfold?"

oldman

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KBOC
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Re: Hef interview in V magazine [re: oldman]
02/28/04 08:58 PM

In reply to:

"what do you say to readers who complain that this once great, socially relevant magazine has degenerated into People with a centerfold?"




That's the question.

Very well posed. How do we get an answer for it?

<---Picture: Kimberly Holland, Sweetest Girl ever to be!

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AliciaR
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Re: Hef interview in V magazine [re: oldman]
02/28/04 09:08 PM

Oh, I agree that their are things I really don't like that Hefner and other senior editors have focused on from one time to another. I chalk it up to "feeling out" new territories. We all do that in times of our lives for one reason or another, and all usually always come back to what made us happy, succsesful, loved, accepted, ect; in the begging.

Yes, he does need to be challenged as to these issues, the only way to realize that the territories he has entered are not accepted by readers is to do so. Yet, I still place Playboy in a class of it's own and don't see it's comparison really to any other.

Alicia

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KBOC
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Re: Hef interview in V magazine [re: AliciaR]
02/28/04 09:21 PM

Okay, sure, it's in a class on it's own as it rests on past accomplishments. But Oldman has hit it on the money that the magazine, take away the Playmates, as a magazine, has become mediocre and irrelevant.

It's very sad, and it doesn't have to be this way.

<---Picture: Kimberly Holland, Sweetest Girl ever to be!

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Ceifer
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Re: Hef interview in V magazine [re: mozart]
02/28/04 10:38 PM

Has there ever been a Playboy interview with Hugh Hefner?? If so, what issue was it in??

Mad Prince
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RSpung
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Re: Hef interview in V magazine [re: Ceifer]
02/29/04 12:52 AM

Several. The 20th anniversary, for one. Then a more recent anniversary issue, maybe the 50th.


Lauren!


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mozart
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Re: Hef interview in V magazine [re: Ceifer]
02/29/04 12:05 PM

Hef has been the subject for two PLAYBOY interviews: January 1974 (the 20th anniversary issue) and January 2000 (not yet published here on the CC).

I think it's unfortunate that he is the Editor-In-Chief of the magazine that published it, though, because the fact that the interviewer works for him slants the questions too much! It's interesting as a reflection of Hef's view of himself (do you suppose they consulted on what questions should be asked? I think it is highly likely), but I think it leads to some significant "blind spots"...

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Peggy Wilkins
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RSpung
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Re: Hef interview in V magazine [re: mozart]
02/29/04 12:15 PM

No one could ever accuse Hef of having shortcomings in three departments: party throwing,
marketing skills and ego.


Lauren!


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mozart
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Re: Hef interview in V magazine [re: AliciaR]
02/29/04 12:27 PM

In reply to:

the only way to realize that the territories he has entered are not accepted by readers is to do so.


A little feeling out of new areas is definitely a good thing, but what troubles me is that it still needs to be done under a guiding editorial vision, and the evidence is that either the vision has radically changed, or that they are out to win a popularity contest, editorial vision be damned. I tend to think it's the latter, based on the types of material they have been publishing over the past year or so. My opinion is based on watching what they've published; and here are a couple examples.

- Articles have been featured not because they are well written, and not because they have something interesting to say, but because they are about a popular subject. My "nadir" example of this is the August 2003 issue's "CSC: Crime Scene Cleanup". Clearly this was based on the popularity of the CSI television series. Elsewhere I have gone into more detail about why this article was poorly written and never should have been accepted for publication without a complete rewrite (I would have replaced the author, who didn't seem to have more than a slight clue). It could have been an interesting feature, but in my opinion the editors blew it by going for the sensational to the exclusion of all else.

- Speaking of going for the sensational, the March 2004 fiction ("Guts") is more interesting for the decision of the editors to publish it than for itself. That one really went for the jugular, and I suppose it is entertaining if you consider grossing out your readers entertainment; but there seemed to be little point of it beyond that. I can only guess about why it was selected, but here's my take: it was selected because it aims at a particular type of audience, an example of which is the type of young men who watch "Jackass" on MTV. I can only conclude it was chosen for its audience appeal, not because it was inherently good. It's always possible that I am missing something here, but to me it's a case of the story being such an in-your-face assault that it completely overshadows any other virtues it may have had. I'm not saying they shouldn't have published it, but it does say something about what they're after.

These types of choices (and there are more) tell me that the editorial vision of the magazine has changed; now its primary motivation seems to be the pursuit of a particular audience, so they look at what appeals to that audience in the media ratings, and select their content that way. To me, this is backwards. Should they want to appeal to people, even particular people? Sure, and that's fine, but that should NOT be the guiding factor of all editorial decisions.

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Peggy Wilkins
Evolution AND Revolution!

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oldman
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Re: Hef interview in V magazine [re: mozart]
02/29/04 12:41 PM

Boy, you really think this stuff through. I thought my take was rather insightful but after reading yours, it feels a little simple.

oldman

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Steve915
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Re: Hef interview in V magazine [re: RSpung]
02/29/04 12:46 PM

In reply to:

No one could ever accuse Hef of having shortcomings in three departments: party throwing,
marketing skills and ego.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

No truer words have ever been posted here!!

The fact of the matter is that "Hef" just does not care about the magazine anymore. He's just happy to have his 5 to 7 "girl friends" (blonde and 50 years his junior) and be surrounded by "yes men" who all tell him that he's great.



Steve

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KBOC
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Re: Hef interview in V magazine [re: mozart]
02/29/04 12:49 PM

In reply to:

These types of choices (and there are more) tell me that the editorial vision of the magazine has changed; now its primary motivation seems to be the pursuit of a particular audience, so they look at what appeals to that audience in the media ratings, and select their content that way. To me, this is backwards. Should they want to appeal to people, even particular people? Sure, and that's fine, but that should NOT be the guiding factor of all editorial decisions.




This rings true, but it's the part that's so MINDBOGGLING to me!

Tell me if you don't believe that the allure of Playboy is about the photographs and the mystique... that's what's supposed to draw in the readership, and the editorial substance (which is almost non-existent today) is supposed to KEEP them!

<---Picture: Kimberly Holland, Sweetest Girl ever to be!

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oldman
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Re: Hef interview in V magazine [re: KBOC]
02/29/04 12:55 PM

Playboy has definitely changed but so have the times. It can never be a relevant as it once was.
It is difficult to watch something I care so much about be dumbed down to compete with magazines that cater to the "Britney Spears is a great musical talent because she is cute" segment of our consumerist society, but maybe it is necessary for its survival.
If the choice is leaving Playboy the way it was and watch it disappear or change it and have it around as a shadow of its former self, I would probably want to have it around.

oldman

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KBOC
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Re: Hef interview in V magazine [re: oldman]
02/29/04 01:04 PM

In reply to:

Playboy has definitely changed but so have the times. It can never be a relevant as it once was.




Oldman, our past differences asside, I could not dissagree with you more. There are real substantive topics out there that Playboy is avoiding. The most controvercial example would be the abortion debate, which they could bring to the forfront and truly present both sides if they chose to. (To my knowledge, no editorial magazine or publication of any sort has ever done this).

In the 90s they were courageous enough to do it with the Gun Control debate, there was some truly brilliant work there.

The whole issues over "Censorship" of artists who speak out, and the "censorship" of those who critisize them.

Then there's the "Religion of Peace" issue.

Right now, all of North America is engaged in cultural and political warfare, and Playboy is completely missing out on it.

There's a LOT out there! And Playboy is a unique magazine, with a unique ability to attract the most articulate of authors to present any side. It wouldn't be very difficult for Playboy to position itself at the "Eye of the Storm" of "Societal Evolution."

Controversy BREEDS Interest!

<---Picture: Kimberly Holland, Sweetest Girl ever to be!

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mozart
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Re: Hef interview in V magazine [re: Steve915]
02/29/04 01:21 PM

In reply to:

The fact of the matter is that "Hef" just does not care about the magazine anymore. He's just happy to have his 5 to 7 "girl friends" (blonde and 50 years his junior) and be surrounded by "yes men" who all tell him that he's great.


I know that Hef does care about the magazine, very much. I've both talked to him and written to him (admittedly all too briefly), and I've seen his care for it firsthand. However, there are some issues, definitely. His life has changed, and he no longer page reads the magazine or dedicates the time to its overall content the way that he used to. He has slowly been withdrawing his oversight and has turned it over to younger people. Now I don't mean to imply there's anything wrong with that, but it has definitely resulted in some things happening, some good, some not so good. I think it needs some correction.

I know also that he does not wish to be surrounded by "yes men". From all reports I've heard, and it's been quite a few, he wants people to be open, direct, and honest. But that is very very hard to do sometimes. I have heard direct reports that people don't like to tell him anything negative, ever. They shield him from it. I assume I'm not telling tales here, it's pretty much common knowledge. Well, this is obviously a recipe for problems.

If you worked for Hugh Hefner, how much would you challenge him? It could take a lot of energy. It could result in bad consequences. It's an interesting question. Personally, I think Hef benefits from being challenged; good things result. One of my friends, a fellow PLAYBOY collector and all around smart guy, spent some time talking to PLAYBOY's original Art Director, Arthur Paul, and came away with the impression that Paul challenged Hef, and that it was a beneficial thing. Maybe too few people have the energy to do that nowadays.

I will credit Hef with a lot of things. I've been very impressed with the way that he's responded to some of the things I've said: he really sees the big picture, and that is a great thing. I talked to a couple of different people about a problem recently, and neither of them saw that it was a bigger problem. When I wrote Hef about it, he saw past the errors I made in my facts (due to the fact that I didn't have any!) and saw there was a real problem behind what I was seeing. He then did something about it. And, he even took the trouble to write back and tell me something about what I had written him, that resulted in my seeing things more clearly. I think that is fantastic. He may not be perfect, but he perceives really well; he cares; and he knows how to get things done.

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Peggy Wilkins
Evolution AND Revolution!

Edited by mozart (02/29/04 01:24 PM)

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mozart
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Re: Hef interview in V magazine [re: KBOC]
02/29/04 01:23 PM

In reply to:

Tell me if you don't believe that the allure of Playboy is about the photographs and the mystique... that's what's supposed to draw in the readership, and the editorial substance (which is almost non-existent today) is supposed to KEEP them!


Yes, yes, yes! This is absolutely true. It's what drew me in to begin with: the total package. And I think it's a huge advantage to PLAYBOY to be multidimensional like that; it means they can attract, and KEEP, a wide ranging audience.

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Peggy Wilkins
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KBOC
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Re: Hef interview in V magazine [re: mozart]
02/29/04 01:26 PM

<---really would like it if Christy Hefner were here right about now...

<---Picture: Kimberly Holland, Sweetest Girl ever to be!

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mozart
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Re: Hef interview in V magazine [re: KBOC]
02/29/04 01:28 PM

What would you ask (of) her?

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Peggy Wilkins
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Calling Christy Hefner! [re: mozart]
02/29/04 01:29 PM

I'd ask her to respond to everything on this thread. The whole thing, especially the question Oldman brought up about Playboy having become a People Magazine with Nudity.

<---Picture: Kimberly Holland, Sweetest Girl ever to be!

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mozart
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Re: Hef interview in V magazine [re: oldman]
02/29/04 01:32 PM

In reply to:

Playboy has definitely changed but so have the times. It can never be a relevant as it once was.


That is too negative a view for me. Of course it can be relevant and exciting again! There's no easy, or obvious, road to get there, but I think it's very possible.

Dumbing down is not necessary at all. The world may have changed, but humans have pretty much stayed the same. For PLAYBOY to say that its troubles are caused by changes in the outside world--and they have said that, Hef has said it--is only an excuse and avoids the real issues. It's an incorrect analysis on their part. If PLAYBOY has come to be perceived as tired, it is because of their own long term editorial choices. I have written about this several times elsewhere, and won't belabor it again here.

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Peggy Wilkins
Evolution AND Revolution!

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mozart
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Re: Calling Christy Hefner! [re: KBOC]
02/29/04 01:37 PM

I think one has to be very careful about how questions are phrased, I would want to be very careful about it. Questions have assumptions behind them, and sometimes the assumptions are skewed and lead to answers that either miss the point or go in the wrong direction. What I would want wouldn't just be answers to questions; I would want a dialogue, where we could go back and forth until real problems could be identified. We'd need to work to get past the "company view" if you know what I mean.

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Re: Calling Christy Hefner! [re: mozart]
02/29/04 01:39 PM

I get that, and you're right.

I'd actually prefer that she simply respond to the issues raised here. I think you know my agenda, I've made it quite clear of late

<---Picture: Kimberly Holland, Sweetest Girl ever to be!

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mozart
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Re: Calling Christy Hefner! [re: KBOC]
02/29/04 01:41 PM

Perhaps it's also clear that I have a very wide agenda...

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Peggy Wilkins
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Re: Calling Christy Hefner! [re: mozart]
02/29/04 01:43 PM

Neither of us want irrelevant fluff, that much is clear, and both of us want this magazine to be at the center of our culture, which it deserves to be.

<---Picture: Kimberly Holland, Sweetest Girl ever to be!

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oldman
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Re: Hef interview in V magazine [re: KBOC]
02/29/04 02:17 PM

Yes, there are many issues that Playboy could speak out on and present both sides of the debate but that will not happen.
Playboy is and always has been an extremely LIBERAL publication in all of its political and social views. It reflects Hefner's beliefs.
The only time conservative viewpoints are presented are when they are interviewing a Conservative figure. Sometimes, letters are published from conservative thinkers in the editorial page but they are usually rebuted with a few commments at the end.
Playboy is pro-choice, anti-censorship, anti-war, pro-birth control for teen-agers, pro gun control, etc.
They have been huge supportes of the ACLU.

Playboy's relevance has always revolved around one thing: relaxing societies uptight sexual attitudes.

It is a sex magazine. Homogenized, harmless pornography.

The height of its importance was in the 60's with the development of the birth control pill. In the 70's it preached sex for fun is safe and should be guilt free.

But first and foremost, it has always been about the young, naked lady in the middle.

All my friends read Playboy when we were younger. We all had copies hidden in our bedrooms that we thought our mothers were unaware of. It was difficult to get as you had to be 18 to buy it at 7-11.
It was a little dangerous to have and therefore, exciting.

That just isn't true anymore. Nudity is everywhere. It is easy to find.

AIDS brought the world of safe, easy sex to a screeching halt.

I can see it changing to become popular again but to have the same relevance and impact??

No, the world is different and Playboy just isn't a leader anymore.

oldman






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Re: Hef interview in V magazine [re: oldman]
02/29/04 02:32 PM

In reply to:

Playboy is pro-choice, anti-censorship, anti-war, pro-birth control for teen-agers, pro gun control, etc. They have been huge supportes of the ACLU.




I know that on Gun Control, they've done some extensive articles against it in the early 90s, pre John Lott, which were amazingly well written. I haven't seen anything like that since then.

If Playboy, politically, continues to be simply mouthpiece for the left, they'll continue to be irrelevant, there are too many publications that do that. Hustler is one of them. The Nation, the New York Times, Vanity Fair, Cosmopolitan (not to mention Maxim, Stuff and FHM)... why does Playboy, which is a Men's Magazine, need to simply echo what all those other magazines are doing?

Playboy could and should stand out. It shouldn't be afraid of rational thought from "the other side" and I don't think it really is. I don't think Hugh Hefner is. I doubt Christy Hefner is.

(Christy, Feminists are not your friends )

Right now, Playboy ACTS like it is affraid of rational thought from the other side, however, which is contributing to the editorial substance sinking into irrelevant crap.

Like I said, Playboy is in a unique position to tackle human issues like no other publication can.

<---Picture: Kimberly Holland, Sweetest Girl ever to be!

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RSpung
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Re: Hef interview in V magazine [re: oldman]
02/29/04 02:39 PM

Good summary. That's how I've always viewed the magazine. One thing that Penthouse kicked Playboy's butt on was the attention it paid to the Vietnam vets. I wish Playboy had been more supportive of them. I know they did a few goodwill tours, but it always seemed to me like it was all about selling magazines, not recognizing their sacrifice.


Lauren!


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oldman
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Re: Hef interview in V magazine [re: RSpung]
02/29/04 03:21 PM

The sexual revolution. That is what you think of when you think of Playboy. Not the Vietnam War, not gun control, not music. Sex. Liberal, safe, fun, guilt-free sex.


Maybe Hefner is just tired of fighting battles. He has paid a price. The government arrested him and tried to put him in prison in the 50's. He has incured the anger of feminists since the 60's.
He lead the sexual revolution and he won. That battle is over.

In the 80's, Reagan set the Attorney General on him in order to destroy Playboy.

The magazine lost its place on the news stands, the clubs closed, Hefner lost his gaming license.

We may never know just how close Playboy came to bankruptcy.

Maybe Hefner looks back on his life and realizes that he has won. All the people who tried to destroy him are gone and both he and Playboy are still here. Maybe he is not looking for anymore fights.

Maybe he just wants to enjoy the remaining years of his life and wants to ensure the magazines survival so he has it to leave to his sons.

Maybe he is a little gun-shy from his experience with Reagan and the 80's and isn't looking to make any new enemies in the government.


If I was Hefner, that is what I would be doing. Playboy may not be what it once was but at least it is still here. So am I and I am going to have a blast!! That is what I would be thinking.

oldman










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KBOC
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Re: Hef interview in V magazine [re: oldman]
02/29/04 03:26 PM

In reply to:

In the 80's, Reagan set the Attorney General on him in order to destroy Playboy.




I remember Hefner saying he thought he was going to jail, but I know nothing of what happened there.

<---Picture: Kimberly Holland, Sweetest Girl ever to be!

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mozart
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Re: Hef interview in V magazine [re: oldman]
02/29/04 03:27 PM

BTW, it's not just pornography; it's pin-up! I think a lot of the people who claim that PLAYBOY is mostly about the pictures don't even realize that its photography is based in the classic pin-up. This is clear in many ways: settings, attitude of the model, visual appeal. Sometimes they even deliberately copy classic pin-up poses. PLAYBOY isn't just nudity, it's pin-up. Some people call it "classy", but that is to me a generalization and it's more specifically described as pin-up.

Nudity may be much more easily available today, but PLAYBOY-style nudity is not. Not only that, PLAYBOY itself isn't widely available anymore. How are people supposed to buy it when it isn't even for sale in most places that sell magazines, or if it is, it's behind the counter? I would like to see some very aggressive work to increase the market share of the magazine by making it more widely available. Hard? Yes, but I think worth it. I can certainly think of a few approaches.

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KBOC
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Re: Hef interview in V magazine [re: mozart]
02/29/04 03:32 PM

In reply to:

BTW, it's not just pornography; it's pin-up!




I'll never forget when Bob Hope brought out a beautiful actress/model/playmate before the troops on multiple occassions, he said (paraphrasing) "I just wanted to remind you guys what you're fighing for"

The whole notion of the pinup is all about that. It runs deep into the male psyche. It's not offensive, it's inspired and it inspires. That's what's different about it, that's why it's not porn, and that's why it's a positive force in this culture.

<---Picture: Kimberly Holland, Sweetest Girl ever to be!

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mozart
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Re: Hef interview in V magazine [re: oldman]
02/29/04 03:37 PM

In reply to:

Maybe he just wants to enjoy the remaining years of his life and wants to ensure the magazines survival so he has it to leave to his sons.


I still don't buy that the ONLY way to ensure PLAYBOY's survival is to dumb it down and blindly follow the mass media. Give me a break. That is spineless and overly simplistic, and it does not live up to the standards that PLAYBOY originally set. It is in fact a betrayal of their original editorial vision, as written about in those early issues where we were promised that PLAYBOY wouldn't leave behind its mission. Well, they have.

I think PLAYBOY can be very successful and still put out high quality writing. It doesn't have to be about politics, but that can certainly be included. All I ask for is one thing: HIGH QUALITY. I don't want to be treated like a brainless consumer, I don't want to be condescended to by being called a "sucker" (like they did in the October 2003 issue) and I don't want my coffee called "shit" (like they did in the 50th anniversary issue). That is so juvenile. I don't want stupid side bars that completely negate the point of the piece it accompanies, as happened with the Ray Bradbury piece in the February 2004 issue. I want to be respected; I want to be entertained; I want to be charmed; I want to look forward to each issue knowing it will offer lots of good, smart stuff.

I think an entire audience has been abandoned here, and we feel a great loss. I think there is always an audience for quality, and yes, some of that audience will be young. If as you say Hefner wants to take it easy, then he should find someone who really can do his previous job, because no one is doing it wholeheartedly now.

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Peggy Wilkins
Evolution AND Revolution!

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oldman
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Re: Hef interview in V magazine [re: mozart]
02/29/04 03:39 PM

This may be hard to believe(no sarcasm intended) but I am not disagreeing with either you or KBOC.

I do not consider Playboy pornography, It is tasteful and artistic and beautiful. It is rare when you look at all the nasty crapola on the web or even in PENTHOUSE(RIP or go to hell!) or Hustler.

My point is that it has always been about sex. Liberal attitudes about sex. That is its place in history. That was its relevance.

What KBOC said is true as well. It could tackle both side of all the tough issues. It is not going to, however, because it never has. It has always been an EXTREMELY liberal and one-sided publication.
It is PLAYBOY for christ sakes. It had to be liberal.

oldman


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KBOC
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Re: Hef interview in V magazine [re: oldman]
02/29/04 03:44 PM

And I'm hoping you're wrong. (Liberal attitudes about Sex, notwithstanding, I'm rather liberal on that myself)

BTW, maybe I'm going too far off the deep end regarding Politics, simply because politics and social values interest me the most. The Playboy Forum used to be rivetting and I'd eat every bit of it up.

That doesn't take away from the rest of the magazine's need return to greatness.

<---Picture: Kimberly Holland, Sweetest Girl ever to be!

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mozart
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Re: Hef interview in V magazine [re: oldman]
02/29/04 03:44 PM

But PLAYBOY was never intended to be a sex magazine; it's just that most people think it is. It's an entertainment magazine that happens to want to spend time on the very pleasurable and worthwhile relationship between the sexes. The politics happened to come along as an expression of the times intersecting with Hefner's interests.

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mozart
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Re: Hef interview in V magazine [re: KBOC]
02/29/04 03:46 PM

In reply to:

That doesn't take away from the rest of the magazine's need return to greatness.


That's exactly how I feel. And I know we aren't the only ones who miss that greatness!

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Peggy Wilkins
Evolution AND Revolution!

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oldman
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Re: Hef interview in V magazine [re: mozart]
02/29/04 03:54 PM

I don't know if it was intended to be a sex magazine or not. I know I would never have read it if there was not a naked girl in the middle.

Yes, it has had(in the past) much more to offer than nudity. Much more.

But when you discuss its cultural relevance, as we are, there is no doubt that when you think of Playboy, you think of sex and the sexual revolution.

Hefner is a lot of things but ultimately, he is a hedonist.

He created the magazine and then he created the lifestyle.

I don't believe the only way to ensure Playboy's survival is to dumb it down. I don't like the fact that it has been dumbed down.

I am merely saying that it cannot be what it once was as the battle it fought is over. I am also saying that maybe Hefner is tired of fighting and he just wants to have fun now. Maybe he feels he has earned it.

oldamn



BTW, who in the hell rated me 5 stars??? I've done nothing but fight with people since I got here.

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KBOC
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Re: Hef interview in V magazine [re: oldman]
02/29/04 04:07 PM

In reply to:

I don't know if it was intended to be a sex magazine or not. I know I would never have read it if there was not a naked girl in the middle.




We all agree.

In reply to:

But when you discuss its cultural relevance, as we are, there is no doubt that when you think of Playboy, you think of sex and the sexual revolution.




Hmm... I don't. I think Playboy is more conservative than it lets on. Considering the conflict between Feminist groups and Playboy, they have far different world-views. Playboy never seemed to flinch at the idea that Men and Women are biologically and psycologically different, whereas the Feminist movement consistently denies the psycological differences have anything to do with biological conditioning. Instead, feminists insist that psycological differences are only the product of social conditioning. Science, BTW, is on Playboy's side.

The Feminist Movement was at the heart of the Sexual Revolution which may have been sparked by Playboy (in part), but Rosie the Rivetter had far more to do with that.

IMHO Playboy exists only at the fringes of the Sexual Revolution, and not at it's heart. It certainly made nude photography mainstream, and championed a lot of feminist causes, but it didn't spearhead those. It doesn't tackle the Abortion debate in any meaningful way. It doesn't tackle Gay Marriage in any meaningful way. It may send some money and give lipservice, but that's about it.

Playboy has been far more connected to the First Amendment than to the Sexual Revolution.

In reply to:

Hefner is a lot of things but ultimately, he is a hedonist. He created the magazine and then he created the lifestyle.




Sure, but while they're not mutually exclusive, nor are they mutually dependent.

In reply to:

I am merely saying that it cannot be what it once was as the battle it fought is over. I am also saying that maybe Hefner is tired of fighting and he just wants to have fun now. Maybe he feels he has earned it.




Okay, but you seem to be equating Hefner with the Magazine, but I think we can all agree that Hefner is not his magazine, though the Magazine may be reflective of his values. Peggy already implied that Hefner value's honesty.

I don't think Playboy is finished with its mission. It's got a very LONG row to hoe when it comes to increasing respect for women. It has a foothold in that respect (this connects very well into the whole Pin Up thing, BTW) that Playboy has made it OKAY for a woman to pose nude without much fear of social reprecussion. Yet today, there is still that fear. And this is still a nation of less than 5% of the world's population.

When we see Playboy Iran, then we can talk about how far they've come.

<---Picture: Kimberly Holland, Sweetest Girl ever to be!

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Vaughanster
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PLAYBOY never intended to be a sex magazine?!?!?! [re: mozart]
02/29/04 05:51 PM

Bullshit!

B u l l

s h i t ! ! !

the Vaughanster


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KBOC
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Re: PLAYBOY never intended to be a sex magazine?!? [re: Vaughanster]
02/29/04 05:58 PM

LOL... Vaughanster, do you guys do this on the PML as well?

<---Picture: Kimberly Holland, Sweetest Girl ever to be!

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jawsfan
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Re: Hef interview in V magazine [re: oldman]
03/01/04 12:18 AM

I mostly agree with you. And it is certainly true that American society and its mores are quite different now than they were when Hef started the magazine. The culture we have today is partly the product of Playboy having been around for the past 50 years. It was the right magazine (message? statement?) at the right time. Then.

Playboy is less about exalting/championing a lifestyle nowadays and more about staying afloat and thriving as a brand name, IMHO. It has served its purpose well, and now is free to hang around as long as it wants to (or can). I've been an active reader of Playboy for the past 25 years, and will continue to do be one in perpetuity. Hef and the mag have more than earned my loyalty.

*********************

<----- Watch this DVD!




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mozart
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Re: Hef interview in V magazine [re: jawsfan]
03/01/04 01:28 AM

I have a large problem with this point of view. I respect PLAYBOY at least as much as anyone else, but when I get my monthly copy and am actually annoyed by the content, and see with clarity its failings, I have a hard time sticking up for it no matter what they did in the past. The past is past, why not make a GREAT magazine today? In fact it is that very past that makes today's situation so obviously bad.

Mediocre run-of-the-mill magazines are everywhere, why should PLAYBOY be yet another one?

If the entire world had such a throw-in-the-towel attitude, all progress would simply stop. I happen to think it's worthwhile to dream of something bigger, and try to make that dream into a reality.

"It has served its purpose well..." That makes it sound like a very old man who should just die in his sleep any old time, because there's nothing of interest left in life; it's just been spent.

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Evolution AND Revolution!

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mozart
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Re: Hef interview in V magazine [re: jawsfan]
03/01/04 01:35 AM

BTW, just to be clear, I think of magazines as living, breathing things that can grow and evolve. Each month is a new opportunity to do as well as, if not better than, the previous months. That can generate excitement for both editors and readers. Since the nature of magazines has them reappearing over and over and over again, that opportunity is always there. That means rebirth can happen at any time.

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Peggy Wilkins
Evolution AND Revolution!

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KBOC
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Re: Hef interview in V magazine [re: mozart]
03/01/04 12:25 PM

I grew up in Europe. My anecdotal experience tells me that Playboy is considered THE American Magazine, as in The Only one that truly represents the United States.

That's why I see it's slip into mediocrity as something terrible.

<---Picture: Kimberly Holland, Sweetest Girl ever to be!

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jawsfan
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Re: Hef interview in V magazine [re: mozart]
03/02/04 03:53 AM

Glass half-empty vs. glass half-full, perhaps.

I, too, am irritated and insulted by Playboy's recent shift to Maxim-like articles, layout, graphics, etc. Not fair to pinpoint Maxim, necessarily, because Maxim is a decent mag. But many of us agree that Playboy looks as if it is trying to emulate its imitators a bit. I'm not phrasing this terribly well, I realize that. In any event, it sucks.

But I (cynically) believe that Playboy will forever be fighting an uphill battle to retain its ever-fragmenting readership. Some readers bitch about Playboy's cosmetic changes to the magazine, others bitch about the lowered standard of its literary content (some of which may be true, especially in reference to throw-away fluff pieces). But we can't expect a half-century old magazine to remain static forever. For good or for bad, its competition is fiercer now than ever before, both in the worlds of publishing and in on-line content. Playboy magazine, back when its competitors were few in number, was exciting in part because it was a tad naughty and forbidden in a sexually repressive era. But it still had class.

Nowadays, nothing seems naughty or forbidden anymore in mainstream adult magazines. And quality literary content suffers not because it isn't available but because of a growing American anti-intellectualism. Sad but true, I'd argue.

The best way for Playboy to survive nowadays might well be for it, as a brand, to appear as cool and hip as possible. It may get to the point where the primary reason people buy the magazine is because they like to buy stuff associated with the Playboy brand image, not necessarily because of the monthly interview or current fiction section. And if the cookie-cutter blonde nude in that month's issue seems a clone of the previous month's, well, maybe that sells just marginally enough better that it has become the wisest strategy.

I bet if we had access to the marketing research that magazine publishers do, we would be distressed at the lowest-common-denominator demographic it is necessary to appeal to to sell well.

I'm just happy that Playboy is still around, though I don't believe it can last forever.

Johnny Carson may have been the classiest act on TV for 30 years, but business is business and he had to be pushed aside. In return, "Tonight Show" fans have been treated to a pale imitation of the great show that used to be, but profits are up. Business is a cruel world. Be careful not to confuse what the vocal minority wants with what the silent, less-discriminating majority is willing to pay for.

*********************

<----- Watch this DVD!




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Wil
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Re: Hef interview in V magazine [re: jawsfan]
03/02/04 05:51 AM

> Be careful not to confuse what the vocal minority wants with what the silent, less-discriminating majority is willing to pay for.

I admit it - I'm one of the "vocal minority". I really **care** about just how special Playboy once was, and could be again, if they tried to be. (If I didn't care deeply about a once-great magazine that meant so much to me years ago, this wouldn't be my 1000th post to these forums, I assure you!!!) That's why I shudder to think of the logo "Entertainment for Men" being replaced by one that you suggest may be more nearly appropriate these days, namely "what[ever] the silent, less-discriminating majority is willing to pay for". After all these decades, now when I consider purchasing a copy of Playboy, I may start keeping my money in my pocket instead...

Wil


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KBOC
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Re: Hef interview in V magazine [re: Wil]
03/02/04 10:25 AM

It's good to be passionate

Congratulations on your 1000th Post, Wil!

<---Picture: Kimberly Holland, Sweetest Girl ever to be!

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jawsfan
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Re: Hef interview in V magazine [re: Wil]
03/02/04 10:26 AM

1000th post! Way to go Wil!

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<----- Watch this DVD!




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KBOC
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Re: Hef interview in V magazine [re: jawsfan]
03/02/04 10:28 AM

BTW, re: Vocal Minority... Squeeqy wheels get the oil

<---Picture: Kimberly Holland, Sweetest Girl ever to be!

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jawsfan
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Re: Hef interview in V magazine [re: KBOC]
03/02/04 10:29 AM

sometimes, yeah.

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mozart
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Re: Hef interview in V magazine [re: jawsfan]
03/02/04 11:58 AM

Realizing that I keep saying the same thing, I will put it a little more briefly this time.

Cynical and selling out -> bad.

Passionate and inspired and wanting a great future filled with quality -> good.

I don't want PLAYBOY to stagnate, but I also don't want them to go off the deep end in pretending they know how to be hip by copying everybody else. I want them to understand the reasons they're in the situation they're in, face it, accept it, and move on. If they make the deliberate choice to turn into a publisher of fluff and a slave of the media engine, I at least want them to be aware in a very clear way of what their alternative choices are, and what exactly they are leaving aside in doing that. I don't want them to produce the 1960s PLAYBOY today; I do want them to produce a quality publication.

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Re: Hef interview in V magazine [re: jawsfan]
03/02/04 12:01 PM

In reply to:

Nowadays, nothing seems naughty or forbidden anymore in mainstream adult magazines. And quality literary content suffers not because it isn't available but because of a growing American anti-intellectualism. Sad but true, I'd argue.




Jawsfan, I completely dissagree with this statement.

NOTHING is too shocking? That's where literary content comes in.

Would it not shock you if Louis Farrakhan wrote an article about Playboy being a bastion of racism, and included it, and therefore anyone who patronizes Playboy is a racist? (ask him, he'll tell you )

Would it not shock you if Laura Schlessinger wrote about how women have always controlled Civilization from before the dawn of recorded history? (Ask her, she'll tell you)

Would it not shock you if Patricia Ireland wrote about how you, as a patron of Playboy, are encouraging the rape of thousands of women a year?

There's plenty of shocking stuff out there. Playboy's photographs, to my knowledge, have NEVER been about Shock Value.

<---Picture: Kimberly Holland, Sweetest Girl ever to be!

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KBOC
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Re: Hef interview in V magazine [re: mozart]
03/04/04 12:11 PM

In reply to:

I don't want PLAYBOY to stagnate, but I also don't want them to go off the deep end in pretending they know how to be hip by copying everybody else. I want them to understand the reasons they're in the situation they're in, face it, accept it, and move on. If they make the deliberate choice to turn into a publisher of fluff and a slave of the media engine, I at least want them to be aware in a very clear way of what their alternative choices are, and what exactly they are leaving aside in doing that. I don't want them to produce the 1960s PLAYBOY today; I do want them to produce a quality publication.




I hope you sent them this note.

<---Picture: Kimberly Holland, Sweetest Girl ever to be!

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mozart
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Re: Hef interview in V magazine [re: KBOC]
03/04/04 12:21 PM

A note? I'm sending them a thesis about it, actually... Should be completed and delivered by Hef's birthday...

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Peggy Wilkins
Evolution AND Revolution!

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jawsfan
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Re: Hef interview in V magazine [re: KBOC]
03/04/04 03:13 PM

To clarify: I never meant to imply that Playboy's pics are, have ever been, or should be about shock value. In fact, I never used that term. What I meant in regard to the pics is that before the recent (10-15 years) proliferation of men's magazine-type adult photos in competitors' mags and the Internet, Playboy had the luxury of being the only classy game in town (not that many of its contemporary competitors are necessarily all that classy). The magazine featured beautiful women, the occasional naked celebrity, compelling literary content, etc., and the mere fact that one had to be "of age" to even purchase it gave it that much more of "forbidden pleasure" sense. Important to consider, however, is that I am only 37 years old. I reached Playboy purchasing age in the early 80's in the dark days of the Reagan Administration, a period that Playboy, Inc. readily admits was its darkest, most stifling and frustrating time. But being then an adolescent male and having unfettered access to Playboy represented (to me, at least) a rite of passage into manhood (not THE main rite, by any means, but a significant one), and further glorified the mag's image in my mind.

Sure, there were other, lesser men's mags that had been available for some time at that point: Oui, Hustler, Penthouse, etc., but in my mind they cheapened the overall image of what a classy but semi-naughty men's mag could be. I never found their photo content particularly appealing. I must admit that I never read more than a tiny portion of the literary content in those mags.

After the initial hormonal thrill of Playboy access subsided a bit, I began reading the mag cover to cover instead of "photo caption to photo caption". Then my appreciation for Playboy increased significantly more.

Skip ahead a bunch of years: finding Playboy-type photography, celebrity nudity, "Girls Gone Wild", provocative attire in everyday life that would have seemed shocking just a few years before, etc., is so rampant and commonplace that it has lost almost all of its "forbidden" quality that made it so exciting. Instead of breathless anticipation of next month's Playboy issue (tempered, of course, by the fact that age and experience puts that into perspective a bit), today one need only turn on cable television, surf the web, visit a club, etc. to get the same quality female content 24/7 that Playboy promised every 4 1/2 weeks. Today, it is all about instant gratification.

So what makes Playboy rise head and shoulders above the rest anymore? Personal preferences notwithstanding, a pretty girl is a pretty girl. With so many "adult" outlets from which to choose, consumers get pickier and pickier, our tastes more niched than ever before. You all have read the comments and complaints on this message board about the seemingly non-stop parade of enhanced boobs in Playboy. So what if there are a lot of those? They certainly are representative of an ever-increasing percentage of young femmes jockeying for position for men's mag exposure (or for whatever personal reasons they have). Beautiful women who will disrobe for the world to see, with or without enhanced boobs, are a gift horse: don't look them in the mouth.

As far as the "anti-intellectualism" comments I made, that was in reference to what I perceive as men's magazines' readership being less discriminating about what passes for challenging discourse. Other board members have also bemoaned the fact that the subject of the Playboy Interview too often is someone with marginal celebrity instead of somebody with something interesting to say. Don't blame Playboy, however. Blame the "cult of personality" we live amidst. I'm all for the "shocking" examples of literary content and viewpoint that KBOC suggests. But I think we'll find, now and as the years drag on, that fewer and fewer readers will. The younger of our readership were weaned on Entertainment as news, scandal as controversy, instant gratification as the de rigeur . That doesn't bode well for a magazine that wants to position itself higher than a Maxim or a Stuff.

Again, it may come down to the half-empty, half-full discussion. Cynical? Me? Quite possibly. But I am no longer naive enough to believe that Americans' tastes and standards will do anything but get lower and cheaper. There will always be a segment of the population that will be a welcome exception to that, but a mass-market magazine will have to do at least some cow-towing to the lowest common denominator to stay competitive.

*********************

<----- Watch this DVD!




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KBOC
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Re: Hef interview in V magazine [re: jawsfan]
03/04/04 03:27 PM

Okay, I do understand what you were trying to say now, and I also understand the idea of Playboy being "forbidden fruit" or a guilty pleasure.

So far as the nature of the upcoming generation of readers, I dissagree. Please remember that Playboy is aimed primarily at men, and men have always had a thing for living up to challenges (as do Women like Peggy).

My Hypothesis: If playboy challenges, its readership will respond to those challenges (in part with increased interest).

Playboy may no longer be a "Guilty" Pleasure, just an acceptable one. I don't think that's really a factor. Being a guilty pleasure may have got it noticed in the beginning, but being a great magazine gave people an excuse to buy it. Please remember that Penthouse was already a long standing magazine when Playboy's readership peaked.

In reply to:

So what makes Playboy rise head and shoulders above the rest anymore? Personal preferences notwithstanding, a pretty girl is a pretty girl. With so many "adult" outlets from which to choose, consumers get pickier and pickier, our tastes more niched than ever before. You all have read the comments and complaints on this message board about the seemingly non-stop parade of enhanced boobs in Playboy. So what if there are a lot of those? They certainly are representative of an ever-increasing percentage of young femmes jockeying for position for men's mag exposure (or for whatever personal reasons they have). Beautiful women who will disrobe for the world to see, with or without enhanced boobs, are a gift horse: don't look them in the mouth.




The truth: I think Implants are a bigger deal than people make them out to be even here. Here many are very sensitive to the models, and though some comments may come accross as cruel, I'm betting that the idea of implants is very unpopular with the public at large, and men moreso than women. That's my theory and till it's disproven, I'm stiking to it.

<---Picture: Kimberly Holland, Sweetest Girl ever to be!

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mozart
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Re: Hef interview in V magazine [re: jawsfan]
03/04/04 04:05 PM

BTW, Oui was published by PLAYBOY from 1972 to 1982; it was affectionately known as as PLAYBOY's "sister" publication. After PLAYBOY let it go, it really did go down the tubes, though.

I'll let you guys in on something I've been thinking about lately that kind of touches on some of the things we've been discussing here. I have asked myself, if I wanted to publish a high quality general interest magazine today, would I include nudity in that magazine? The reason I ask the question is, nudity presents a large, automatic obstacle. There is a stigma associated with published nudity, and it results in problems with distribution, display, selling advertising, and not least of all, problems with being taken seriously. Just look at all the people around here who say, point blank, that PLAYBOY is only about the pictures and has always been only about the pictures. I have talked to people who steadfastly maintain that the text is there only to justify the pictures.

I think these are pretty significant obstacles.

After thinking on it for a while, I decided that I absolutely would include the nudity. I think the significant societal resistance is itself proof of the need for such a magazine. PLAYBOY's mere existence is a concrete demonstration that a person's sexuality doesn't need to be sequestered away from every other aspect of his life. Just like sex is part of the total package of a person's life, the nudity in PLAYBOY is a part of the total package of the magazine.

And after all, who's not interested in sex? To keep it hidden away in some seedy back room as if ashamed is simply wrong.

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Peggy Wilkins
Evolution AND Revolution!

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RSpung
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Re: Hef interview in V magazine [re: mozart]
03/04/04 04:32 PM

How difficult would it be for Playboy to publish more than one magazine? Penthouse and Hustler do it. They could publish a Gen X Playboy and a Classic Playboy.


Lauren!


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KBOC
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Re: Hef interview in V magazine [re: RSpung]
03/04/04 05:25 PM

Playboy does publish more than one magazine already. BOL is published bi monthly...

<---Picture: Kimberly Holland, Sweetest Girl ever to be!

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mozart
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Re: Hef interview in V magazine [re: RSpung]
03/04/04 09:39 PM

In reply to:

They could publish a Gen X Playboy and a Classic Playboy.


Well, heaven knows they've managed to alienate a lot of their original audience while in pursuit of the younger demographic. That leaves a whole market wide open, much like what Esquire originally did that inspired Hef to start his own magazine.

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Peggy Wilkins
Evolution AND Revolution!

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someguy1231
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Re: Hef interview in V magazine [re: mozart]
03/04/04 09:39 PM

In reply to:

Just look at all the people around here who say, point blank, that PLAYBOY is only about the pictures and has always been only about the pictures. I have talked to people who steadfastly maintain that the text is there only to justify the pictures.




Are you referring to me there?

I will give you that Playboy's articles were once socially and politically relevant (60s and 70s, in particular), but those days are long gone. The truth is, the first thing that comes up in anyone's head when they think of Playboy magazine today is not articles, political activism, or interviews, but pictures of naked women. To deny this is, I believe, madness.

I don't know how Playboy will get over that stigma. This is something they have little control over. The only option I see is, unless cooler heads prevail among newsstand distributors, they'll just have to scale back the nudity if they want to be more noticable at the newsstand.

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mozart
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Re: Hef interview in V magazine [re: someguy1231]
03/04/04 09:44 PM

You are one among many that I have in mind here. I certainly don't deny that the first association with PLAYBOY is the beautiful, nude women, and I think that is part of their strength. It really gives them a strong brand identity, doesn't it?

I contemplated the "less nudity" option but for the reason I gave above (the reaction against nudity is proof of the need for a magazine like PLAYBOY), I absolutely wouldn't go that way. Perhaps they can gain market share through more creative means. If I were working there, I would consider it worthwhile to figure out how.

__
Peggy Wilkins
Evolution AND Revolution!

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KBOC
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Re: Hef interview in V magazine [re: mozart]
03/04/04 10:29 PM

In reply to:

I contemplated the "less nudity" option but for the reason I gave above (the reaction against nudity is proof of the need for a magazine like PLAYBOY)




Brilliant... now remind everyone why and how the editorial content and the nudity are not separate, but part of a whole which makes them eternally socially relevant.

<---Picture: Kimberly Holland, Sweetest Girl ever to be!

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mozart
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Re: Hef interview in V magazine [re: KBOC]
03/08/04 11:45 PM

We're certainly in agreement about how PLAYBOY works best as a total package, but I suspect that our interpretations of "total package" may differ a bit, since I lack much of your political zeal. To me, it's more about PLAYBOY engaging my attention in a positive way, and on multiple levels. I always like to say, PLAYBOY has never been one dimensional.

I'll confess that I'm a bit of a magazine junkie. Why do I read magazines? The bottom line: a good magazine produces pleasurable reactions in me. I love to browse newsstands looking for something to catch my eye, usually something with good graphic design coupled with a beautiful cover picture. The right cover catching my eye is something very pleasurable to experience, and so then I pick up the magazine and look through it. If the inside looks equally appealing (and I'm talking about both layout and actual content), I buy it so I can spend more time with it. The real test comes after I've both glanced at the pages and read (or dismissed) the content. I want to be charmed; I want to have my mind engaged with interesting ideas; I want to see beauty; I want to experience pleasure.

So to me, a good magazine produces all of these, in a strong and positive way: emotional response; visual response; intellectual response; and even tactile response (it should feel good in the hand for a comfortable reading and viewing experience).

Produce these reactions in me through well presented content, and I will be a loyal reader. PLAYBOY did that from the first issue I saw, and reinforced it again and again. With my interest in nude pin-up coupled with my rational nature, it was a match made in heaven.

This is what I want to see them work toward today: producing content that grabs the attention, pulls in the viewer, charms him, engages his mind, provides services he needs, and fulfills the needs for those services so well that he can't help but keep coming back. Unfortunately, they seem much more interested in appealing to a specific demographic as their number one goal today, and they are looking at that intended audience so intently that I think they're failing to properly evaluate content on its own merits. I also feel they're not giving their audience enough credit; but that's another story.

__
Peggy Wilkins
Evolution AND Revolution!

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KBOC
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Re: Hef interview in V magazine [re: mozart]
03/09/04 12:33 AM

"The Playboy Forum" is where politics has traditionally been dealt with (and the Interviews).

I finally picked up the March issue after it didn't arrive (I'm very not happy right now).

I have flipped through it but not read any of it yet...

The part with the bounty hunter seems promising...

The forum needs WORK!

<---Picture: Kimberly Holland, Sweetest Girl ever to be!

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mozart
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Re: Hef interview in V magazine [re: KBOC]
03/09/04 12:46 AM

That bounty hunter feature seems so... masculine! When I say masculine, I mean a bit like men's magazines in the '50s had features about hunting and fishing; and I thought PLAYBOY was partially a reaction against that sort of thing.

That piece fits in with the recent editorial focus on crime and violence. I'm not particularly happy with that focus. As an occasional topic, sure; but every month, and it gets to be a bit much. I never figured PLAYBOY for a crime sheet (was Police Gazette anything like this?), but that seems to have become a staple of their editorial diet lately.

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Peggy Wilkins
Evolution AND Revolution!

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Wil
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Re: Hef interview in V magazine [re: mozart]
03/09/04 03:52 AM

Yes - in the early 1950s, there were girly magazines (pretty juvenile ones), hunting/fishing/sports magazines, and "men's sweaty adventure" magazines, that specialized in tales of physical hardship, guts, pain, courage, death-defying risks, and acts of bold daring-do. Playboy was created specifically as an alternative, for men whose idea of "entertainment" was oriented more nearly towards, as they put it, "indoor" activities instead.

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KBOC
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Re: Hef interview in V magazine [re: Wil]
03/09/04 10:51 AM

I read the article last night, guys.

I thought it was one of the best I've seen in PB for a long time. It reminded me of an in depth investigative report.

<---Picture: Kimberly Holland, Sweetest Girl ever to be!

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